The Mack Laing Trust

In 1973, Hamilton Mack Laing deeded his property (now the Mack Laing Park) and house (Shakesides) to the Town of Comox with strict stipulations about public use and access. In his Will in 1982, he left the Town $45,000 to create a “natural history museum” in Shakesides. The Town accepted the “gift” but rented out Shakesides to a succession of tenants, thereby preventing it from being used by the public, or creating a museum.

Memorandum of Agreement between Hamilton Mack Laing and the Town of Comox, September 19, 1973: HML MOA

Last Will and Testament of Hamilton Mack Laing – May 6, 1981: HML Will 1981

Last Will and Testament of Hamilton Mack Laing – March 1, 1982: HML Will 1982


Brief History of Shakesides: shakesidesbriefhistory

Business Plan: Shakesides Nature House Business Plan

Statement of Significance: shakesides-statement-of-significance-august-23-2016

Condition Assessment: ShakesidesConditionAssessment

Awards, Tributes


Articles written by Mack Laing

Selections from Outing magazine, 1915 (derived from the Victoria Museum Archives and Google Digital scans): OutingMagazine1915Vol66

HML BlackDeath of the Shore (unpublished manuscript 1951)

Historical and Reference Material

Correspondence with Town of Comox and Reports

The following document package outlines the history of the Trust and the decisions made by the Town of Comox.

Town of Comox Report (released March 16, 2016 – pdf): Town of Comox Mack Laing Trust Report March 16 2016

Report from Moeller& Associates, Chartered Accountant, regards what should be the value of the Mack Laing Trust (pdf): MoellerHMLTrustFundCalculations

Letter to MLHS from Town of Comox, including final Staff Report on MLHS proposal (March 10, 2015): ToCletter March 10, 2015

Legal Documents

Legal Opinion, William Pearce QC, June 20, 2015: William Pearce QC Independent Legal Opinion

Notarized letter, dated September 26, 2014,  from Alice Bullen, who was appointed by Comox Council “to look after” the interests of Mack Laing in his later years, after he had gifted the Town with the property known as Mack Laing Park: AliceBullenLetter


November 1988 issue of Picoides, the newsletter of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, with an obituary and article about Mack Laing: Picoides2_2_1988


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